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Discussion Starter #1
I took delivery of my 2004 prius in January and have started to notice a very audible "crunching/squeaking" noise when I apply the brake. I read something in another forum a little while back that said something about a brake noise when parking on a slope (which is normal, so it said), but I am starting to hear this noise much more frequently, slope or no slope. I hear it when I apply the brake while powering on, when changing gear, and stopping at a traffic light. It's really annoying, and I'm concerned that it might be a mechanical problem. Has anyone else experienced this?

By the way, I did take my car to my Toyota dealer and they told me that they could find no signs of a mechanical problem and suggested that what I'm hearing must be "normal". I say, no way.
 

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I hear it when I apply the brake while powering on, when changing gear
Changing gear ? :shock: What do you mean by "changing gear", since there's only ONE gear on the Prius ?
There are some unusual noises in the Prius when you power it on or change from drive to reverse ("clicks" made by electrical relays, especially) but they are absolutely normal.
 

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Carol said:
I took delivery of my 2004 prius in January and have started to notice a very audible "crunching/squeaking" noise when I apply the brake. I read something in another forum a little while back that said something about a brake noise when parking on a slope (which is normal, so it said), but I am starting to hear this noise much more frequently, slope or no slope. I hear it when I apply the brake while powering on, when changing gear, and stopping at a traffic light. It's really annoying, and I'm concerned that it might be a mechanical problem. Has anyone else experienced this?

By the way, I did take my car to my Toyota dealer and they told me that they could find no signs of a mechanical problem and suggested that what I'm hearing must be "normal". I say, no way.
Carol,
I don't hear or feel anything matching your description when applying the brakes on my '04. Occasionally the brakes will squeak a bit when I'm backing out of the garage first thing in the morning, but they never make a noise that I would describe as "crunching." Remember, not all service departments are created equal. I suggest you take your car to other delearships until you find one that makes you feel more confident in their diagnostic capabilities. If that isn't possible, or if the second and third dealerships concur that this is a normal function, ask them to demonstrate this on another '04 that they have on one of the lots. Best case scenario is that there actually is nothing wrong with your car and the odd noises coming out of the Prius simply have you a little jumpy (I've been guilty of this, so you wouldn't be alone); worst case scenario is you find a dealership with more experienced, concientious service techs who fix your car and maintain it properly for years to come. It's a win-win for you!
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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I know zero about cars, but I think "crunching/squeaking" = Something Wrong. The Prius makes some faint whirring and whooshing sounds when you power up and power off, and the electric motor (?) makes some noticeable whirring during hard acceleration, but I never hear "crunching/squeaking".

That said, I did once hear an unsettling rattling noise, which turned out to be the garage-door remote bouncing around in the cup holder.

Check for extraneous non-car possibilities, and if you once eliminate them insist on service. And I agree with the suggestion above: if they say it's "normal" insist they show you the same noise in another unit.
 

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whereabouts are you?

Prius owners seem to always be looking for a reason to have a gathering/get-together. ;-)

If there is someone in your general area who also has a 2004 Prius, perhaps you two could meet up and swap cars for a little bit of driving to compare normal to whatever you're hearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What Gear?

Frenchie,
In my neck of the woods people have always called the drive, reverse, neutral, 1st, and 2nd "gears". We "shift gears" when moving from one position to the other. Although the Prius has one (physical) gear, I use the term in a more logical sense to refer to the drive or reverse "position" since this is what I'm accustomed to. I suppose I have to get used to a whole new set of terminology and a whole new way of thinking about my car. It's been difficult, but I'm trying. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Whereabouts

I am in New Jersey. I don't know anyone else in my area that has a Prius (yet). However, several of my coworkers have Prius-envy and are looking to make the Prius their next vehicle. :D
 

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Carol said:
By the way, I did take my car to my Toyota dealer and they told me that they could find no signs of a mechanical problem and suggested that what I'm hearing must be "normal". I say, no way.
That's the biggest problem with the Prius in general, and the '04 Prius especially... the dealers don't know a heck of a lot more then then average Prius owner. When I picked up my Prius the salesman and I sat in the car for 20 minutes figuring out everything together. *sigh*

Anyway... although the dealer has looked at it, and you are saying you notice these things during a gear shift to, some things I would try if I was hearing such noises:

Try washing out the wheel. Hit the break pad and the disk with a lot of water to get it nice and clean. Look at the disk for any signs of damage -- there may be something lodged in the pad (though, the dealer should have found this).

Having driven a stick shift up until getting my Prius, when I hear the words "crunch" and "gear shift" together I very specific sound comes to mind. Carol, if you have driven a stick shift before -- is what you are hearing the kind of crunch heard when you miss a gear on a shift (i.e., the horrible grinding when the teeth on the gear fail to connect with the clutch)?

If there is another Toyota dealer in town, I'd give them a shot. They should be able to help you, since Toyota will pay them no matter if they sold you the car or not. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hoagie,
Thanks for the suggestion. I never owned a manual myself, but I have ridden in manuals and have heard gears grind. The sound isn't quite the same (or quite as horrible). I think the noise has more to do with the braking, because I can hear it when I apply the brake (with or without a gear change). I hadn't thought of washing the wheel, pad, and disk thoroughly. I'll have to give that a try once the weather warms up. 8)
 
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